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Mowi produces first eggs from Scottish broodstock in 20 years

Mowi produces first eggs from Scottish broodstock in 20 years

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The company, recognized as the world’s most sustainable aquaculture company for the fifth year in a row.

Thanks to obtaining the appropriate approvals for Mowi Scotland‘s breeding and egg production facilities at Ardessie, the company has already collected the first eggs from its specially selected broodstock. They envisage the new farm will produce up to 50 million eyed eggs to supply the Mowi production hatcheries. For the past several years, the company in Scotland has been reliant on external egg supply since the export ban of ova from Norway restricted the supply of high-quality eggs available to Scotland.

Recent approvals to produce broodstock and eggs in Scotland will help secure high-quality egg supply to the company by enabling it to select parent fish whose offspring will be most robust to the specific challenges faced locally and providing significant advances in survival and performance.

John Richmond, Broodstock and Post-Smolt Development Manager, explains: “The egg stripping has gone very well this season, considering this is only a temporary solution as we move to securing quality egg supply to Mowi Scotland with a bespoke facility.” And adds, that “this facility should be complete in spring of 2025 in time for the next generation of broodstock.”

Next generation salmon

To prepare for a made-in-Scotland broodstock program, the next generation salmon were taken in 2021 from Mowi nucleus in Ireland and raised at seawater farms in Scotland. After a few weeks held in freshwater this autumn, Mowi breeding experts began checking the salmon for readiness to spawn and the first fish were identified as ripe and stripped of their eggs last month.

The broodstock facility at Ardessie will use the latest recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology to enable use of temperature and photoperiod regimes to produce early and late season eggs, a key element of Mowi’s freshwater smolt production plan.

DNA analysis was undertaken during spawning and all the male fish were ranked by the Mowi geneticists according to their breeding index. The geneticists are considering DNA markers that indicate high growth and robustness towards disease challenges, as well as flesh pigment quality.

Ben Hadfield, COO Farming Scotland, says: “Congratulations to the team in Mowi Scotland for their resilience and farming know-how that brings this all together to make it happen. This milestone is an important time for us as we secure future generations of top-quality salmon that contribute to the country’s most valuable food export.

It’s important to report that Mowi Scotland will soon be accepting applications for careers at its new broodstock facility at Ardessie.

At the forefront of sustainable food production

In the other hand, Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index has ranked again Mowi as the world’s most sustainable livestock and aquaculture company for the fifth year in a row. This index is the most detailed sustainability index for major companies in the world’s meat, dairy, and aquaculture industries. The 60 companies will be evaluated on environmental, social, and governance considerations, including greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and food safety.

“This shows once again that Mowi is at the forefront of sustainable food production. I am both proud and humbled to be in charge of managing such a company. Mowi is responsible. We have strict policies regarding procurement, animal welfare, environmental protection, etc., and are consistently ranked highly in this index,” commented Ivan Vindheim, Mowi CEO.

For her part, Chief Sustainability Officer, Catarina Martins, said: “We need to produce more food for the world’s ever-growing population in a way that is kind to the planet. That is our ultimate goal, which is why we are so proud to be recognized once again for our efforts by being named the World’s Most Sustainable Aquaculture Company.”

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